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The ultimate Thanksgiving dinner has a little something for everyone—mashed potatoes for people who don't eat sweet ones, green bean casserole for people who turn their noses up to asparagus, and fresh cranberry relish for anti-sauce eaters. Make room for meat-free side dishes, and any vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table will have lots to put on their plate. Our collection of vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish recipes includes classics like potatoes and casseroles, and we also threw in a few unique ideas, like whole grains and spiralized squash.
Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese
A trio of bold, nutty cheeses and a velvety butternut squash puree helped create our cheesiest mac and cheese in September 2011. The squash trick lets us cut back on cheese overall for an impressive makeover, shaving 500 calories and 30g sat fat.
Balsamic-Glazed Pearl Onions
Deeply caramelized with balsamic vinegar until glossy and browned, these sweet and tangy jewels are a gorgeous addition to your holiday plate. We actually prefer frozen, peeled pearl onions over fresh for convenience; you save a lot of time by not peeling fresh pearl onions. You will be tempted to stir the pan frequently as the liquid reduces, but the onions need time to cook undisturbed in order to get deeply browned. Keep the heat low so the liquid in the pan doesn’t dry up too quickly.
Ginger-Chile Roasted Acorn Squash
Fresh ginger, red Fresno chile, and pomegranate don’t usually appear on the Thanksgiving table, but we love how they transform simply roasted squash into a dish with tingly heat and pops of color. Leave the sheet pan in the oven as it preheats to jump-start browning, saving roasting time in the oven.
Creamed Greens with Farro
This dish takes its cues from classic creamed spinach and raises the bar with braised mixed greens, whole-grain farro, and a crisp panko crust. Hearty yet not heavy, and gorgeous straight out of the oven, this is the kind of side that looks and feels holiday special. Swiss chard and dark, bumpy lacinato kale both wilt down fairly quickly; their texture and vibrancy will stand out once combined with the creamy three-cheese sauce. The farro can be cooked, drained, and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week before Thanksgiving.
Crispy Cauliflower with Italian Salsa Verde
Crunch and zing are often missing from the holiday spread; these crispy, cheesy cauliflower florets with fresh lemon-parsley sauce achieve both. Serve with classic holiday dishes at Thanksgiving, or with roasted fish or a simple pasta toss on any weeknight. A thorough coat of cooking spray on the cauliflower will help the breading adhere and keep the florets from drying out as they bake. Finely grated Parmesan will go further in the breading; use a microplane or pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
Balsamic Onion and Thyme Tarte Tatin
This jam is an excellent, refined sugar-free alternative to the traditional, often too-sweet sauce, and tastes even better a day or two after it’s made. Because fresh cranberries are so tart on their own, be sure to use a sweet onion such as Vidalia in the jam. Pair this condiment with your Thanksgiving plate, then use as a sandwich spread for holiday leftovers.
Green Bean Casserole with Caulifower Cream
Once simmered in milk and pureed, cauliflower transforms into a silky, luscious cream sauce—a dead ringer for the classic yet with a much better profile, saving nearly 500mg sodium and 4g fat per serving. We intensify the mushroom presence by using meaty cremini and shiitake mushrooms and roasting them first to cook out the excess liquid. If you can’t find shiitakes, use 2 (8-oz.) packages of cremini mushrooms. Skip the fried onions and use torn whole-wheat bread for a rustic, crunchy topper.
Garlic-Caper Roasted Mushrooms
Roasted mushrooms are a revelation—intensely savory yet still tender and juicy. The mushrooms transform again once tossed with garlic butter, briny capers, and fresh lemon. Use cremini or baby bella mushrooms here—white button mushrooms are too mild. Dress the mushrooms right after roasting so the mixture stays vibrant. Both earthy and bright, this dish pairs well with any combination of fall dishes.
Maple-Sumac Roasted Walnuts
Here’s a perfectly simple and delicious snack. A little sumac adds a bright piney-citrusy note. Look for it at specialty spice stores. A tablespoon of lemon rind can sub for sumac, if you prefer.
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
This salad is a feast for the eyes, and a welcome relief from the brown and gold tones on the Thanksgiving table. Sweet-tart blood oranges and a honey vinaigrette offset the bitter edge of the endive and radicchio (you can also use milder romaine lettuce hearts). If you can’t find blood oranges, try ruby red grapefruit or pretty pink Cara Cara oranges.
Raw and Roasted Carrots and Fennel
This salad demonstrates the magic that happens when you showcase both the raw and cooked sides of ingredients. If using carrots without tops, substitute 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or dill for the chopped carrot tops. Caramelized, tender bits of carrots and fennel mingle with fresh slices of their raw, crunchy counterparts.
Roasted Butternut Squash With Sticky Walnut Topping
Molasses complements the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash and gives the slices a deeply bronzed look. We add cider vinegar for balance and stir in walnuts for a sticky, praline-like topping. The dish is best served warm, when the molasses mixture is still gooey. You can roast the squash ahead and reheat the slices while you make the topping. A quick trick for cleaning a sticky saucepan: Fill with water and bring to a boil, letting any residue dissolve, and then drain.
Roasted Turnips With Sage Browned Butter
Sage and browned butter is a classic pairing that enhances roasted turnips (which look like white, oversized radishes). Toss with the butter mixture as soon as the turnips are done.
Herbed Whole-Grain Yeast Rolls
Golden whole-grain yeast rolls get a fresh, fragrant hit from a whole host of seasonal herbs, including fresh sage, rosemary, and chives. Make ahead and freeze up to 1 month, saving the butter and herb coat for after reheating. The yeast should begin to foam after 5 minutes in the warm milk; if it doesn’t, it may be a sign that your yeast is no longer active and should be replaced. Use leftover rolls for tomorrow’s breakfast, or make turkey sliders with split toasted rolls, cranberry sauce, and sliced turkey.
White Balsamic and Rosemary Cranberry Sauce
If you’re looking for a way to amp up your traditional sauce, this is it. Fresh rosemary gives the sauce a light herbal flavor (the berries are robust enough to stand up to the piny herb). White balsamic vinegar balances the sweet and adds a dimension of fruity tang to the tart cranberries. If you don’t have white balsamic, use white wine vinegar or cider vinegar—regular balsamic is a bit too strong and would darken the finished sauce. Beyond your holiday plate (and inevitable holiday leftovers), add to a cheese plate or sandwich buffet. Omit the orange liqueur from the master recipe. Simmer cranberries with rosemary sprigs, sugar, water, and cranberries. Stir in balsamic vinegar.
For a holiday side with earthy, savory depth, add a trio of mushrooms: creminis, meaty shiitakes, and mild white button mushrooms. A splash of sherry vinegar picks up the browned bits in the pan and rounds out the flavors beautifully. The mushrooms will release plenty of liquid after a couple of minutes in the pan; be patient and let these juices evaporate so your stuffing will be rich, not soggy.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Keep mashed potatoes warm by placing in a heatproof bowl, covering with plastic wrap, and setting over a saucepan of gently simmering water. This will keep them moist and warm without scorching. A ricer finely breaks up the cooked potatoes without activating the potato starches, which could make the consistency gluey. It also allows the butter and liquid, such as milk or buttermilk, to quickly incorporate so the mash is smooth and free of lumps. If you don't have a ricer, use a potato masher, being careful not to overwork the potatoes. Our Butternut-Swirled Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Potatoes variations require a little extra time but are well worth the effort.
Skillet Green Bean Casserole
We've shortened (and lightened) this holiday classic by bringing everything together in one pan and using the stovetop and broiler rather than baking.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Chef Jonathan Waxman taught Cooking Light Editor Hunter Lewis how to make this fall salad many years ago. Riff with the ingredients to find the flavor balance you prefer. For a vegan version, omit the Parmesan cheese.
Sweet Potato Casserole With Crunchy Oat Topping
This classic casserole often straddles the line between side and dessert (indeed, we've enjoyed the leftovers both ways). We dial down the sugar to steer the dish back to savory territory, and add a crunchy oat and nut topper for texture. A final drizzle of maple syrup just before serving gives the casserole a lovely sheen. While we call for a ricer in our master mashed potatoes, a potato masher is perfectly acceptable here since the spuds will be bound with an egg, topped, and baked. Chopped almonds or walnuts would be a delicious sub for the pecans.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Pine Nuts
For a bit of showmanship, bring the whole cauliflower to the table, and then "carve" and dress with the vinaigrette, pomegranate arils, pine nuts, and parsley.
Modify the recipe for our Honey Whole-Wheat Pull-Apart Rolls by stirring in Asiago cheese and chopped rosemary. Substitute 1 tablespoon sugar for honey and reducing butter to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Add 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary to milk mixture with butter, sugar, and eggs in step 1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoons grated Asiago over rolls before baking.
Lemon-Herb Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine butternut squash, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes from master recipe in a large bowl, then follow remaining steps.
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust. The result is a rich, rustic potato side with contrasting flavors and textures—a bit of crunch to round out the stuffing, sauces, and mashes on the plate. Reheat leftovers in the oven until crisped and warmed through, and then serve with eggs and a side of fruit for breakfast.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
Rather than using sodium-loaded canned soup, we made our own creamy sauce to update this dish.
Spiralized Beet and Butternut Squash Noodles with Parsley Pesto
What's better than roasted beets? Spiralized beets, duh! The nifty gadget turns beets and butternut squash into twirly noodles tossed in a delightful herby sauce.
Braised Leeks with Parmesan
Wash leeks after they’re halved by dunking them in a bowl of cold water and vigorously swishing to dislodge dirt and grit trapped between the layers. You may need to repeat the process once or twice, depending on the level of grit. We love the simplicity of this dish. White wine provides a little tangy acid to the leeks, while Parmesan cheese packs an umami whallop, making for a supremely satisfying side.
Baked Mac and Cheese
We added a surprise ingredient, canola mayonnaise, to make things extra creamy.
A fresh, crisp salad balances the lineup of heavier, rich side dishes. You can follow a recipe or just compose one with pretty cuts of your favorite vegetables and herbs tossed with a light vinaigrette. Make this salad a day ahead if you want the flavors to absorb into the cauliflower a little more. Just hold off on adding the cheese until right before serving.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Gastrique
The gastrique, a tangy-sweet glaze, is Thanksgiving worthy but also simple enough to pull off on a weekday.
Green Beans with Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts
Every plate needs a little green on it. Blanch the beans ahead, and store in the refrigerator to eliminate a task from the Thanksgiving Day prep list.
Sweet Potato Casserole
No Thanksgiving table is complete without this sweetened vegetable. Our modern twist on the classic sweet potato casserole is a fragrant vanilla bean streusel.
Roasted Cranberries and Grapes with Rosemary
Your relish is going to get a much needed revamp with the addition of grapes and rosemary. Black grapes have thicker skins than red grapes, and they'll hold up better under the broiler.
Roasted Broccoli with Pistachios and Pickled Golden Raisins
Some version of broccoli, usually laden with cream and cheese, lands on many a Thanksgiving table. But this dish, with its beautifully balanced flavors, is much lighter—and vegan.
Mom's Smashed Mashed Potatoes
To keep potatoes warm until the meal is ready, place them, loosely covered, in a heatproof dish or bowl, and set them (without submerging them) in a larger pot of hot water over very low heat. They'll stay warm without scorching on the bottom.
Old-Fashioned Mustard Pickles
Traditionally, the vegetables are salted and left to soften. Instead, we blanched them to tenderize before pickling.
Cran-Blueberry Sauce with Candied Ginger
Make this sauce a couple of days ahead, and refrigerate in an airtight container. Reheat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, adding water—a tablespoon or two—to thin it.
Cheesy Sorghum and Shaved Squash Pilaf
Long, slender ribbons of butternut squash make for a beautiful and unusual presentation; just be gentle when stirring so you don't break all those gorgeous pieces. Try to grab a squash with a long neck—that straight surface works best for ribboning. If you can't find sorghum, you can use farro.
Nana's Rosemary Biscuits with Cranberries
When punching out dough rounds, avoid twisting the biscuit cutter, which will seal the edges and interfere with rising.
Shaved Apple and Fennel Salad with Crunchy Spelt
Simply put, apples and fennel are right together—the flavors are so complementary. We love the way the paper-thin slices intertwine and then get interrupted by bright hits of parsley. Canola oil may seem like an odd choice, but we wanted to keep the flavors clean and straightforward; you can always use olive oil if you'd like the vinaigrette to assert itself.
Whole-Grain Spelt and Cornmeal Biscuits
Gently pat the dough flat instead of rolling with a rolling pin. Patting preserves all the pockets of fat needed for flaky biscuits, whereas rolling pancakes them into small, dense pucks. Cut the biscuits into squares to avoid any leftover scraps. This will also help you avoid the twisting motion of using a cutter that can also lead to flat biscuits. Spelt flour adds a deep nutty flavor, but you can use white whole-wheat flour if you can't find spelt.
Smoked Barley, Beet and Grapefruit Salad
Having a plant-based Thanksgiving doesn't have to mean missing out on a delicious meal. These recipes prove that vegans can eat just as much good food, shown through our seasonal salads, full-bodied sides, a gorgeous main dish, and dainty desserts.
A sweet vinaigrette, earthy beets, and the intense citrus twang of grapefruit balance the robust smoky hit of the grains for a memorable salad. To make sure you're getting the whole-grain version of barley, look for hulled, and skip past pearled.
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pickled Rye Berries
Something rather lovely happens when you soak the chewier whole grains (such as rye or wheat berries) in a pickling brine; the tangy notes make the chew that much more enjoyable.
9 vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, from mains to sides, that even the carnivores will love.
If your’e looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that meat-eaters will like too, I am the perfect person to help. Because two years ago during the holidays, my paleo husband decided to turn vegan. Really. And he hasn’t had so much as one cheese stick or single chicken nugget since. That means, I’ve had to figure out how to make a meatless Thanksgiving for my family that doesn’t feel like a bunch of random side dishes.
Now of course if you have multiple -vores at your table, you can mix things up. But if you want to go all vegetarian with your Thanksgiving, these ideas will totally have you covered.
Now I’ll admit, the vegan Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast was a big hit for all of us as our main course last year, but this year I’m feeling like I can go more homemade all around. If you’re in the same boat, or just looking to change up your Thanksgiving table and cut back on meat, here are some truly great vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that everyone at your family dinner — or Friendsgiving celebration — will enjoy.
1. Honey-Roasted Squash with Pepitas and Sage
Squash your Thanksgiving planning fears with this simple, festive side dish. Honey-drizzled roasted squash is topped with sage, pepitas, and some red chili flakes for heat. You can use any kind of squash for this, but Acorn squash is particularly nice for its scalloped edge.
Easy Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides
Thanksgiving is the bomb: A day of eating, drinking, and family. But for those who don’t eat meat, the Thanksgiving spread can be kind of a bummer. Beyond the turkey and gravy, there’s often sausage in stuffing, bacon in Brussels sprouts, and chicken stock in just about everything. While we’ve never dismissed a little bacon in our sprouts, we decided to make some delicious side dishes that can keep any vegetarian from making themselves sick on a diet of mashed potatoes and pie.
Even omnivores will happily chow down on this meat-free stuffing, plus it’s filling enough to serve as a main course for the vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table.
Oven-Fried Brussels Sprouts
The trick to a good Brussels sprout is getting it nice and crispy, and pre-heating the baking sheet in a hot oven allows you to get that much-needed caramelization. Finished with some garlicky breadcrumbs, parmesan, and fresh lemon juice, this simple recipe may just be your new go-to.
Chicory and Persimmon Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
The slightly bitter greens and sweet persimmon balance each other perfectly in this colorful Thanksgiving salad.
Brown Butter Roasted Turnips and Greens
Turnips are undoubtedly one of the most overlooked root vegetables, and definitely one of our favorites. Here we use baby white turnips, also known as Tokyo turnips, which have tender stalks and leaves that taste great when sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic. If you can’t find the Tokyo variety, conventional turnips will work just fine—simply peel and cut into 1-inch pieces before roasting. Serve alone or substitute kale or swiss chard for the turnip greens.
9 vegetarian Thanksgiving sides meat eaters won't hate (recipes in under 100 words)
Thanksgiving sides are insidiously meaty. Chicken broth sneaks into mashed potatoes, or Brussels sprouts take a quick dip in some bacon fat. Even dishes that look to be, you know, vegetables often contain concealed ingredients that make them off-limits to vegetarians. In search of actual meat-free-but-still-100-percent-delicious Thanksgiving sides, we tapped some experts.
And because your time is precious, we’ve asked chefs to explain their recipes in 100 words or less.
Dan Jacobs, DanDan in Milwaukee
Fried Brussels sprouts: Cut the small Brussels in half, and quarter the larger ones. Now do away with any notion that these are healthy, because next, you fry the brussels sprouts in vegetable oil. After, toss them in salt, pour them into a bowl, and top with sweet soy sauce and kewpie mayo, then finish them with some fried garlic, toasted cashews, and chives.
Danny DiStefano, Made Nice in New York City
Cranberry chutney: 3 cups fresh cranberries, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons orange zest, grated. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for one hour or until the cranberries begin to break down. Transfer the chutney to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
Moosah Reaume, Commons Club in Chicago
Glazed carrots: Try to source the best baby carrots that have a super sweet taste. Stay away from the purple ones as they will change the color of your glaze. Peel and clean the carrots, then grab OJ, lemon juice, some Thai red chilis, and orange zest—not too much. Place in the pot and add some honey and salt bring to a simmer until carrots are tender, then add butter. When they are ready to serve, bring to a simmer and reduce to a glaze then with a touch of olive oil. Garnish with torn mint or cilantro.
Greg Biggers, Fort Louise in Nashville
Brioche stuffing: Sauté finely minced garlic, onion, celery, and onion in way too much butter. Once that is cooking, add chopped sage, rosemary and thyme and let that get toasty before adding the brioche, dried cherries and vegetable stock. Throw it in a casserole dish and bake it off (Fat Guy tip: slice off a piece of this the next day and put it on a sandwich with leftovers and cranberry sauce).
Yehuda Sichel, Abe Fisher in Philadelphia
Roasted sweet potato and Boursin: Roast diced sweet potatoes with ground caraway, allspice, canola oil and Kosher salt in a 400 degree oven until tender. Finish by tossing with brown sugar, softened butter, lemon juice, mint and parsley. Take garlic and herb Boursin and mix with sour cream. Spread the cheese onto a plate, spoon the roasted potatoes over, and top with pickled long hot peppers and walnuts.
Bill Kim, urbanbelly and BellyQ in Chicago
Coconut grits: It’s a lighter version of the Southern staple, cheese grits, only dairy- and gluten-free by using coconut milk as a substitute for heavy cream. It’s very flavorful and rich without being heavy and is a great replacement to mashed potatoes. Season them with caramelized onions, garlic and salt. The kick really comes from adding something acidic I personally love giardiniera or even something as simple as a diced pickle.
John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina and El Che Bar in Chicago
Sweet potatoes with horseradish butter: I learned how to properly handle camote (sweet potato) from a former coworker, a Oaxacan gentleman named Omar. Poke a couple of holes in it and throw it in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. The sugars closest to the skin start to caramelize and the rest steams beneath this layer. The result is nothing short of heavenly. Let potatoes cool, then peel the skin off and whip them with a little heavy cream and butter, then grate in a good amount of fresh horseradish and season with salt. The surprise of the fresh and pungent horseradish plays beautifully against the earthy, nutty sweetness of the humble tuber.
Ben Jones, The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana
Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts: Heat equal parts butter and olive oil in a large cast-iron sauce pan. Add finely diced fresh garlic, julienned onion and sauté until onion is slightly tender. Add quartered Brussels sprouts and cook over medium-high heat until the onion and leaves of the sprouts start to caramelize. This browning adds a nutlike flavor, which is a wonderful substitute to using something like bacon for flavor. Add a little water during cooking to keep the Brussels sprouts moist, almost steaming them. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar.
Nicole Pederson, Found and The Barn in Evanston, Illinois
Spiced roasted sunchoke and sweet potatoes: Quarter the sunchokes and chop the sweet potatoes, then toss each vegetable separately in melted butter, salt and few teaspoons of advieh (a Persian spice blend). Roast them on sheet pans at 400 degrees until tender. While that’s roasting, mix together 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (add a little more melted butter to this mixture if you’re feeling decadent). Once the veggies are roasted, remove from oven, toss together with the syrup mixture, chopped toasted pecans and chopped Italian parsley.
Vegan Thanksgiving Breads and Muffins
31. Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts by Happy Kitchen.Rocks
Easy and Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe, made with whole grain flour, chia seeds, maple syrup, walnuts, beer and malt. Delicious, vegan and packed with nutrients!
32. Soft Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls by The Curious Chickpea
These soft whole wheat dinner rolls are made with 100% whole wheat flour and bake up so pillowy and tender. They are perfect for serving alongside soup, salad, light meals or your holiday meals!
33. Easy No-Knead Beer Bread by Happy Kitchen.Rocks
Easy and crusty no-knead 5-ingredient beer bread recipe. Sweet, delicious, healthy and nutritious bread with a little prickliness.
34. The Best Vegan Cornbread by The Pretty Bee
Light and fluffy vegan cornbread is perfect when smeared with vegan buttery spread. Serve this alongside your favorite chili recipe!
35. Garlic & Chive Dinner Muffins by The Vegan 8
These garlic and chive dinner muffins have an incredible texture that is really light, soft and fluffy. They are delicious on their own or great served with soup or stews. These would even be delicious served with a lentil loaf!
More Vegan Thanksgiving Bread Recipes
36. 3 Ingredient Semi-Homemade Pumpkin Bread by Vegan Guide To The Galaxy
37. Cornbread with Roasted Tomato and Sunflower Seeds by Very Vegan Val
38. Pumpkin Maple Vegan Cornbread by Veggie Inspired
39. Easy One Hour Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls by Ruchis Kitchen
40. Vegan Sweet Potato Buns by Vegan Richa
Thanksgiving Sides & Salads
Roasted Vegetable Orzo - So good! This is roasted delicata squash and kale tossed w/ orzo pasta & salted yogurt dressing.
Mashed Potatoes - This is the way to do them. Buttery peaks and cloud-like drizzled with a saffron garlic butter, and topped with a toasted almond, coriander, sesame sprinkle. Simple, but with enough of a twist to make them special.
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts - These are the best. A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan, dusted with cheese. There's also an oregano version linked down below.
Heirloom Apple Salad- A favorite Autumn salad. You're looking at heirloom apples, shaved celery, and toasted nuts of your choosing. The dressing is crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, garlic and champagne vinegar. The mix of textures and flavors is magic.
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad - So tasty! Pretty, scalloped-edged cross-cuts of the delicata squash, a few small potatoes, chopped kale, radishes, Marcona almonds - and a bold miso harissa dressing.
Oregano Brussels Sprouts - Pan-fried and then finished with a drizzle or oregano deliciousness, and toasted almond slices.
Pomelo Green Beans - A one-pan green bean side with a walnut-garlic dressing and highlighted with pomelo segments. Transform it into an easy main with the addition of some seared tofu or a poached egg.
Vibrant Tasty Green Beans - Or, this one, another favorite green bean recipe - dill, green beans, leeks, salt and olive oil. That's it - five ingredients, one skillet - tasty green beans.
Lentils with Wine-Glazed Vegetables - These simple, wine-glazed lentils, from Deborah Madison, are a long-time favorite. Perfect addition to a Thanksgiving spread.
Raw Tuscan Salad - A red chile spiked, shredded raw kale salad tossed in a vibrant, lemony-pecorino dressing.
Quinoa Skillet Bread - If you're ready to switch it up a bit, this is a completely over-the-top alternative to your favorite corn bread recipe. Or, better put - a rustic, minimally structured, custard-topped, crusty-edged, herb-scented corn-quinoa skillet bread.
Spiced Spinach with Walnuts - The jist: a hot pan filled with all manner of things that work well with spinach - toasted walnuts, shredded mint, lemon, a host of spices, and a good amount of leeks that are cooked until silky tender.
Miso Sesame Winter Squash - Inspired by a Bryant Terry recipe - roasted winter squash (and tofu) with a miso, maple, sesame, citrus sauce.
1 Wild Mushroom, Spinach, and Gruyere Soufflé
Mushrooms can be a great stand-in for turkey due to their meaty texture and rich, umami flavor. Throw them in a souffle, a dish that always impresses, with gooey gruyere cheese and bright spinach and you&rsquove got a dish that will wow your Thanksgiving crowd. Don&rsquot be intimidated by the process of baking a souffle the key to success is beating the egg whites to stiff peaks. Once you master that, you&rsquoll have a fluffy and satisfying main course that tastes as good as it looks.
2 Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Polenta
Switch up the mashed potato side with this creamy polenta recipe, which includes a whole head of roasted garlic and roasted sweet potatoes. Polenta doesn&rsquot get any creamier (or more delicious) than this. Going the extra step with a fried rosemary topping makes this side dish a Thanksgiving show-stopper.
3 Skillet Spinach Lasagna
This modern take on traditional lasagna isn't traditional Thanksgiving fare, but we promise your guests won&rsquot care. Cooking this up in a skillet saves valuable oven space (you&rsquore welcome, turkey and roasted vegetables) and ensures that your veggie guests have something hearty and comforting to dig into. If you&rsquove got meat eaters at the table, they&rsquoll likely be jealous of this gooey, bubbling creation, so you might want to consider making two versions - one with eggplant, and one with sausage. You could also use a hearty mushroom like portobella in place of the eggplant or meat.
4 Sage and Apple Stuffing
Just because someone is skipping turkey doesn&rsquot mean they have to miss out on all the fixings. This flavorful stuff incorporates all the best fall flavors: crispy sage, crispy buttery crust, and grated apple for just a touch of sweetness. And the best part? It only requires 20 minutes of hands-on cooking time.
5 Citrus Endive Salad
Salads are a necessary fresh counterpoint to the Thanksgiving richness. This bright and juicy recipe takes advantage of seasonal citrus and fresh belgian endive to lend a welcome, slightly bitter burst to cut through the creamy, heavier sides and main dishes. Segmenting the citrus does take a little time, but you can easily do this step a day in advance and store the slices in their juice in the fridge overnight.
Get the recipe: Citrus Endive Salad
6 Farro Bowl With Pomegranate Vinaigrette
This gorgeous recipe is hearty enough to serve as a side dish alongside the bird or on its own as a vegetarian main course.Individually the ingredients are mouthwatering&mdashcaramelized sweet potato, crisp fennel, earthy farro, salty feta and crisp fennel&mdashbut the pomegranate vinaigrette brings everything together to make this dish sophisticated and worthy of your holiday table.
7 Carrot Soup With Candied Almonds
Carrots don&rsquot get much in the way of accolades and fanfare, but this silky soup recipe highlights the humble crisper-companion as the star of the show. The goat-cheese toast and rosemary candied almonds elevates this comforting dish into something your guests will remember long after November comes and goes. It&rsquos a celebration-worthy vegetarian recipe that will please all palettes, and makes the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast.
The Ultimate Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Far too often, vegetarian Thanksgivings mean picking bacon bits out of green bean casserole or digging into imitation turkey. No more! With the stunning Vegducken as the main attraction, this Thanksgiving feast features vegetarian options so delicious, you won't even miss the turkey.
Herbed Carrots, Squash & Lentils
- 1 pound mini carrots, tops removed
- 1 pound baby squash
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
- 2-3 cups cooked green lentils
- 4 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1½ Tbsp garlic puree
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill
- 4 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Place carrots, squash, onions and lentils on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and honey. Roast until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
Whisk together 4 Tbsp olive oil, honey, vinegar, garlic and fresh chopped herbs. Drizzle over lentil mixture. Serve and enjoy.
Stunning Holiday Salad
When I’m planning my holiday menu, I love selecting one side dish that has people jaw-dropped and gushing. This year, this is the salad. A bright red mix of red pears and sliced fennel, stained ruby with beets and served with goat cheese and salty green pistachios.
My mother-in-law used to serve pomegranate salad for Thanksgiving. She swore the table needed something red to coordinate with the color of the cranberry sauce. But pomegranates tossed with yogurt (her take on pom “salad”) was never quite my style. Though I loved the idea of a red salad. It really does tie the whole table together. And the flavors in this Red Pear & Beet Salad are so divine, added bonus.
This Thanksgiving side dish looks beautiful individually plated over a schmear of dilled goat cheese. Or offer it family-style in a rectangular baking dish.
And if table coordination is your game as much as it is mine, tie the whole harvest look together with a colorful set of TAG Sundari Block Dishtowels. Set beneath your serving dishes, they protect your table while adding a pop of seasonal style. Plus, a touch of pattern instantly offers a welcoming vibe to your Thanksgiving table.
Bright beets color red pears and slices of spicy fennel in this beautiful side dish. Topped with goat cheese and pistachios, the flavors of this dish scream fall. But they're fresh and exciting, too.